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Why is Warm Milk Good for Sleep?

By Sleepsia

Are you someone, who is struggling to get that near mandatory recommendation to sleep, every day? Well, you are not alone. About 1/3rd of Americans have trouble in sleeping, this is as per a study from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. “As a nation we are not getting enough sleep.” Mr. Wayne Giles, M.D., director CDC (Population Health), even mentioned once.

Why do people have warm milk before sleep?

According to sleepfoundation, and scientists, consuming a glass or cup of warm milk (preferably with honey) before bedtime might help you get the much needed sleep, better. The study was undertaken among patients undergoing treatment in a heart unit and they experienced improved sleep. In-fact patients above the age of 60, had reduced walking at nighttime after having fermented milk. Experts have treated this (drinking warm milk at night) as a super hack ‘to feel tired’ in order to sleep ‘faster’.

Drinking a warm glass of milk before bedtime is a long-standing tradition, and it has a good reason. There are many sleep-promoting nutrients in milk, like tryptophan, melatonin, and magnesium. The components of milk increase melanin production and relax nerves and muscles. Most people believe drinking warm milk is better for sleep than cold milk. For instance, warm beverages get associated with relaxation and peace. Hence, it can help you unwind.

Benefits of drinking warm milk

Drinking warm milk before bedtime can help you fall asleep faster as it comes back with sleep-promoting nutrients like tryptophan and magnesium. One warm glass of milk for quality sleep may seem like a myth. But there is a bit of truth in the age-old tale. Milk is not just a simple nighttime beverage packed with protein. But it also comes loaded with nutrients to combat insomnia. We will discuss the sleep-inducing qualities of milk in this post. We will also look at the popular beverages that you can drink before bed to promote better sleep.


Tryptophan is an amino acid for sleep and is present in small amounts of high-protein food, like milk. When you consume it, the body uses the protein to produce serotonin which is an influencer of mood and behaviour.


The portion of melatonin in a cup of warm milk help people drift off at night. Is the hormone helps regulate your circadian rhythm. It will keep your sleep-wake cycle consistent. Milk from dairy cows contains both of these nutrients, but researchers now believe that the levels in one serving of warm milk are insufficient to affect your sleep. Drinking milk on a daily basis provides your body with nutrients that your brain can use to better regulate your sleep. Milk, on the other hand, is not the only source of either nutrient.

Milk is an excellent source of protein. About 8 grams of protein is there in eight Oz of milk. The proteins, including essential amino acids known to assist your body in getting an interrupted, satisfying night of sleep. The high levels of protein will also keep you full throughout the night. You can also avoid late-night snacking.


Magnesium is a vital protein that the body uses to regulate nerve function and blood pressure. Research says supplemental magnesium can improve sleep quality by binding to Gaba receptors. Restlessness is reduced by GABA, a neurotransmitter that blocks impulses.

Physiological links on benefits of having milk for sleep

Although warm milk lacks the chemistry to induce sleep, it can still be beneficial. People who believe warm milk will help them sleep may benefit from the placebo effect because many associate warm drinks with relaxation. Routines are appealing to the brain, especially around bedtime. Sleep specialists frequently advise insomnia patients to practice sleep hygiene, which includes creating a soothing bedroom environment with an associated evening routine to help the brain relax.

Some of the most important sleep hygiene tools are based on routine. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day will help you establish a regular circadian rhythm and get enough sleep. Exercise, a healthy diet, lighter dinners, and non-stimulating rituals

What are the drawbacks of having milk in night?

Along with benefits, one must also know the pitfalls, and anomalies one might face. It will help you take an informed decision. Milk is packed with protein and nutrients to keep your body strong. You may experience some drawbacks from drinking milk right before bed. We will discuss some potential negatives to have milk before bed.

Lactose in milk can cause stomach aches

It is the principal sugar found in milk and is known to cause sleeping complications for those with sensitive stomachs or intolerance to dairy products. About 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant so for those who are in this category, drinking milk in bedtime can cause stomach discomfort. In addition, lactose can be a culprit that causes people to snore. Dairy products will encourage excess mucus production and cause sleepers to feel a bit stuffy fever during bedtime.

Potential Blood Sugar Crash

It is better to drink milk in moderation to keep your blood sugar from crashing. It’s because nightmares, night terrors, and other parasomnias can take place when your blood sugar level drop. When you consume it excess, your blood sugar glucose may rise up. When the body has more sugar than it used to, it will rapidly produce insulin in an attempt to keep the labels constant. It causes blood sugar to decrease. It will also cause hypoglycemia, or a sugar crash.

Consuming dairy products can cause sleeping disruptions for some. Hence one can look for alternatives sush as, herbal tea, soy, and almond milk.

Insomnia- a sleeping disorder

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the United States, affecting millions of adolescents and adults who have difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night, or waking up and being unable to fall back asleep. Common life stressors such as worries about finances, loved ones, relationships, careers, and moving can cause acute insomnia. Chronic insomnia is caused primarily by underlying health conditions such as anxiety or depression. There are numerous recommended treatments and medications for insomnia, ranging from dietary changes to prescription sedatives. The most effective way to manage conditions like insomnia is to make lifestyle changes. Setting a regular bedtime, managing stress, exercising, and avoiding a large meal right before bed are few examples to cite. However, if these methods do not help you sleep, a glass of warm milk may be beneficial. Warm milk, according to scientists, can help you sleep better, but not for the reasons that many nutritionists assumed.


Finally, warm milk as part of your bedtime routine can be beneficial, but if dairy is not right for you, consider alternatives. According to sleep specialists, warm milk has no inherent benefits that work for everyone, but if it has positive, calming associations, your sleep quality may improve. Nevertheless, if you still struggle to fall asleep, you can try practicing better sleep hygiene. Some steps that you can take is to stop using your mobile before bedtime and regulate your natural circadian rhythm by picking a bed tie and staying consistent.